Unrelentingly cute, Finding Dory continues Pixar’s winning streak of great family films that entertain adults as much as the kids in the audience.
I must add that when I saw this film (IMAX 3D, on a Saturday afternoon), there were more people in the audience without children than with. It seems very intentional that sequels to Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo were made about 12 years after the originals debuted; it hits a nostalgic sweet spot for late teenagers and 20 somethings as well as bringing the characters to a new generation who, let’s be real, would have grown up with these characters anyway.
Finding Nemo is that good. Finding Dory is that good too. Flipping the script of the first film, in which Dory and Marlin had to quite literally Find Nemo, the sequel deals with the psychological definition of the word “find”. Dory remembers her family, so in order to “find” herself, she must find her family.
Not an easy task, however, because Dory is saddled with short term memory loss. Of course, it wouldn’t be Pixar without an adventure, and Finding Dory doesn’t disappoint, as the main trio travels all the way to a California Marine Life Institute.
This journey only takes the first 30 minutes of the film, as the rest takes place inside the institute, where Dory’s parents are presumably being held. Working as a metaphor of parents of children with disabilities, Dory’s forgetfulness serves as a reminder (no pun intended) to viewers that people with disabilities must be treated with the same level of respect as our able peers.
This message isn’t touched upon in most family releases, and was always delivered in a genuine and never-pandering way. The heavy handedness of say, Wall-E was nowhere to be found in this sweet, funny story. Finding Dory is now playing in theatres everywhere.